Paperback Ç Conquest PDF/EPUB á

Paperback  Ç Conquest PDF/EPUB á This is probably going to be seen as a guilty pleasure and I have glanced at reviews which would suggest it is quite possibly not all that cool to say a bit like admitting to thinking The Da Vinci Code was one hell of a rollicking good and enjoyable read, which is was, you know it , but I thoroughly enjoyed this one Yes, I can see what is wrong with it, but as a whole, it holds together nicely, and with a relatively unobtrusive style and is an all round rattling good tale.Of course, I ve c This is probably going to be seen as a guilty pleasure and I have glanced at reviews which would suggest it is quite possibly not all that cool to say a bit like admitting to thinking The Da Vinci Code was one hell of a rollicking good and enjoyable read, which is was, you know it , but I thoroughly enjoyed this one Yes, I can see what is wrong with it, but as a whole, it holds together nicely, and with a relatively unobtrusive style and is an all round rattling good tale.Of course, I ve come across Hereward a fair few times Several recent book series have featured the 11th Century Fenland Terror James Aitcheson has had him in his tale James Wilde has written three, soon to be four, excellent novels based on him and his exploits, real or imagined The brilliant Marc Morris, in his The Norman Conquest non fiction look at the people who brought you 1066 and all that, mentions Hereward several times and provides a good look at all the facts, the few there are, about him, as well as mentioning some of thespeculative stories Whether you come from other books to Marc s book, or go from there to other Herward stories, you can see that amongst others the two James do at least touch base with what is known As does Stewart Binns here However, and perhaps eventhan James Wilde at least until I ve slapped some peepers on 4 The Wolves of New Rome , he picks up the Hereward ball and runsthan a little further with it Wilde and Binns both seem to agree on Hereward s struggle with his anger issues, but they solve them in different ways I don t think James Wilde has his Hereward at Senlac Hill, nor does James Aitcheson Their Herewards only really come front of stage in the period after Hastings I think both Binns and Wilde are also implying that Hereward, real person or not, is possibly the source for the later development of the Robin Hood myth Something that possibly Robert Holdstock might like to comment on if he hasn t already done so and quite honestly, after struggling through the stream of consciousness nonsense that was most of Gate of Horn, Gate of Ivory , I finally let him go his own way in a Mythago Wood novel I don t know.The story begins, perhaps surprisingly, in the mountains of Greece To where the heir to the Eastern Roman Empire, travels in search of enlightenment from a legendary old warrior, now turned hermit Turns out, the old warrior knew the Prince s father, fought for him in the Varangian Guard The warrior is now 82, but instead of giving the Prince the One to Ten of what to do, tells him a story, from which he can draw his own lessons from It is the warrior s life story.You ve guessed by this point, that the old hermit, is Hereward, though he does seem to have the name Godwin for some reason He begins telling his story from his wild childhood days, through his rebellious youth, to adulthood and maturity, through many of the period s historic milestones his lifespan has encompassed He was, of course, at Hastings and tried to rally the English forces thereafter, but had to, in the end, leave and travel abroad.There are several nice touches Here, Hereward has to persuade a reluctant Harold to take the throne Where Harold actually sympathises with Edward s position and therefore, William s claims You can see, with some of the incidents that go on in Harold and Hereward s time in Normandy, where some of the tactics they would later use against William, come from, for instance There doesn t seem to be any evidence for any of the above, though if I remember rightly, James Wilde does have Hereward on the continent before Hastings Here, Edward, on his deathbed, makes Harold his successor Again found in other books and history After the rebellion dies out, Hereward agrees to go abroad James Wilde has his Hereward meeting William, but only after the battle, Morris says there is a legend that they met , to save England from further turmoil and anguish at William s hands, but that could be blamed on Hereward As a whirlwind tour of the period s hotspots and big names, in Britain and the rest of Europe, it is undoubtably a great read Some of the people he meets, may be stretching it a little, but then I don t know enough about for instance Spanish folk law to comment with any certainty In that respect, it read a little like Tim Severin s Viking trilogy, just crammed into one book Severin has one Viking journeying to all the places associated with the Vikings history, meeting most of the big players and generally living the fullest life imaginable another excellent read guilty pleasure if you re one of the costumes and corset Ancient and Medieval Historical Fiction lilly livers elsewhere on Goodreads Maybe this is like that but on steroids, having to pack it all into one book and all And it can feel a bit mechanical for that Like he had to check all the names and places of his list and he was damned if he wasn t going to get them all in The stuff about a mystical talisman too, I could have done without Never liked fantasy elements creeping in to what essentially wants to be read like a true story Takes it all on a bit of a seers and sages trip It s better when it has even its tenuous grip on reality But, people of the time believed in all that and the One God to rule them all hadn t replaced the touching of wood to ask for the help of the spirit who lived in that wood still hasn t really, has it So, it gets a solid three stars from me However, it gets a fourth star solely for mentioning, on several occasions starting on page 385 the Bishop of Aarhus Why Well, that s the town in Denmark where I now live Cool, eh It is Scandinavian s oldest town, I read today, though in Viking times, was called Aros However, I haven t checked when the name changed, so I can t call young Stewart B on it Not that anyone would know where a town called Aros was hmm not that namy people know where Aarhus is, so much of a muchness.Leave your ego at the front cover and enjoy a good romping read I for one will certainly be getting hold of the next in what I think is a trilogy These sort of things usually are.Oh yeah, read the dedication at the start A very interesting, quite possibly unique, sentiment I ve not come across its like before Proves his heart s in the right place, whatever you think of the rest of the book It is 1066 and England is about to undergo the most cataclysmic change of history since the arrival of the Roman legions On one side, the last Saxon king Harold II On the other side, William Duke of Normandy, William the Bastard, William the Conqueror The story is recreated on the Bayeux Tapestry which despite being a pro English piece of propaganda, sites in a museum in Normandy Harold would be killed at that battle and England would once again be ruled by those of Norse descent The peri It is 1066 and England is about to undergo the most cataclysmic change of history since the arrival of the Roman legions On one side, the last Saxon king Harold II On the other side, William Duke of Normandy, William the Bastard, William the Conqueror The story is recreated on the Bayeux Tapestry which despite being a pro English piece of propaganda, sites in a museum in Normandy Harold would be killed at that battle and England would once again be ruled by those of Norse descent The period of Norman Conquest would see a time of bloody battles but also an immense building programme of castles, towns and cities andIn the middle of the two men is a third Hereward the Bourne What Never heard of him Neither had I and I hang my head in shame not just at this gap in my own knowledge but also at his omission from the history books Actually, some people doubt his existence but regardless of this, his story is no less impressive and if he did exist, no less important.This is the first in a series of novels charting the history of England I believe the final part is about Magna Carta This book is a fictionalised biography of Hereward as he and his armies retreat to the Fens and the Isle of Ely to resist the Norman advance An outlaw in life a proclamation made by Edward the Confessor for killing a Priest in this book the sources say it was for civil and familial disobedience , he goes to Wales and then Scotland on various quests and errands He meets Macbeth, helps him to train his army and eventually returns home to take up arms.The writing style is easy on the eye it is not a heavy read by any stretch of the imagination and it is an easy book to absorb yourself into But there is a lot of explanation, almost too much within the dialogue and the narrative and at times I find myself willing the pages on so the story can move go somewhere I m not a great fan of exposition and here there s just too much but at least it doesn t come in lumps as so many other books that fall into the trap do The narrative also reads like narration at times, as though Simon Schama himself is reading it aloud.When writing historical fiction, it is important to get the environment right That is, it must feel that you are in the right time and place Binns certainly manages that Though he doesn t go into the same intricate depth as Jean M Auel in her Earth s Children series, there is enough there for it to feel satisfyingly medieval The petty politics and power struggles that are going on around the Saxons and their would be Norman conquerors is also satisfyingly handled.William the Conqueror is satisfyingly depicted, a mean and shrewd warlord who loves war as much as he loves his god In contrast, I had mixed feelings about Hereward He was almost too much the knight in shining armour, travelling the British Isles putting right the wrongs like a medieval Sam Beckett.I m sorry to say that the battle when it comes is stodgy and passionless, lacking the pace of Cornwell s Saxon Stories and the finesse and technical detail of Sidebottom s Warrior of Rome series I felt let down, especially with such a big build up.Good book, but flawed.Seebook reviews at my blog This novel has a magnificent cover After that, it is a massive disappointment Historically little is known of the outlawed resistance leader Hereward and so there is a lot of latitude to develop his character We know that the man was aggressive enough in his youth to merit outlawry and exile from Anglo Saxon England and we know he returned as a man to lead a revolt against William the Conqueror with considerable skill, cunning and determination Binns, however, transforms Hereward into a dith This novel has a magnificent cover After that, it is a massive disappointment Historically little is known of the outlawed resistance leader Hereward and so there is a lot of latitude to develop his character We know that the man was aggressive enough in his youth to merit outlawry and exile from Anglo Saxon England and we know he returned as a man to lead a revolt against William the Conqueror with considerable skill, cunning and determination Binns, however, transforms Hereward into a ditherer who could never have earned the respect of warriors much less his readers Despite having done nothing in the text of the novel to earn anyone s respect, somehow every great leader in Europe William himself, El Cid, MacBeth, God knows who else vie to earn his respect and his service while Hereward waits for signs from magic amulets to let him know if he stumbles onto anyone worthy of commanding his allegiance Ugh If you want to read a good version of Hereward s story,I recommend you read the trilogy by Marcus Pitcaithly instead It was ok I like, read and write historical text books and novels This book could not make up its mind what it was, and it takes a writerskilled than this to blend the two without losing the characterisation One thing I did learn from reading this was where that line was and I hope on re edit that I haven t done the same in my stuff and if I have, to sort it out This as a real historical account has so much meat it seems a shame that the beginning and end were so hackneyed I won It was ok I like, read and write historical text books and novels This book could not make up its mind what it was, and it takes a writerskilled than this to blend the two without losing the characterisation One thing I did learn from reading this was where that line was and I hope on re edit that I haven t done the same in my stuff and if I have, to sort it out This as a real historical account has so much meat it seems a shame that the beginning and end were so hackneyed I won t do spoilers here but believe me, Clich City This is one of my favourite time periods but rarely connected to the characters, which was a shame It is clear this guy can write Maybe he needs a new editor So yeah not bad, but not great Senlac Ridge, England William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, defeats Harold Godwinson, King Harold II of England, in what will become known as the Battle of HastingsThe battle is hard fought and bloody, the lives of thousands have been spent, including that of King Harold But England will not be conquered easily, the Anglo Saxons will not submit meekly to Norman ruleAlthough his heroic deeds will nearly be lost to legend, one man unites the resistance His name is Hereward of Bourne, the champion of the English His honour, bravery and skill at arms will change the future of England His is the legacy of the noble outlawThis is his story SPOILER FREE I virtually never leave reviews for books here, but in this case I feel I have to justify listing this one as read where in fact I slogged 100 pages in over a period of a few weeks of apathetic reading and then abandoned it on the train may it find a happier reader I have back buttoned on a few tremendously crappy stories before, but I think this might be the first case in which I ve abandoned a physical book like this, other than obligatory school reading See, I enjoy properl SPOILER FREE I virtually never leave reviews for books here, but in this case I feel I have to justify listing this one as read where in fact I slogged 100 pages in over a period of a few weeks of apathetic reading and then abandoned it on the train may it find a happier reader I have back buttoned on a few tremendously crappy stories before, but I think this might be the first case in which I ve abandoned a physical book like this, other than obligatory school reading See, I enjoy properly terrible fiction stuff that really scrapes the barrel And I like historical fiction, or even historical fantasy but the problem for me with Conquest is that it somehow hits the wrong tone on every single note See, I can read longer, better,nuanced andoriginal fiction for free on the internet, and the online community has evolved to a place now where it is almost rare to meet a genuine Mary Sue in the flesh But Hereward in this novel is exactly that It s actually difficult to define what exactly is so flawed with the text, but at a minimum, there is a failure follow any show don t tell rules and you get wads of this history book 101 exposition that takes all of the teeth out of the drama Moreover, in this day and age there are ways to package up historical objectification of women or other inequality that rings true to the era portrayed, yet Conquest uses all but the main character cheaply, while neglecting to give Hereward any real depth either so for me it was just plain uncomfortable to read I suppose the book is 6 years old now, but even so 2011 was hardly a spit ago, while this readslike something written in Different Times I think for me the main issue is this feels like a very surface level story It tells you a lot about action, but not a lot about people, and that s not really enough for me Hereward s ultimate glory is a given even when the story is trying to show you he is growing and so you don t get any real sense of actual progress He s impressive because the blank verse tells you so, but there s no evidence, and so it s difficult to grasp why everyone else in the story is convinced The villains are shallow and the women fall around the story, convenient but needlessly naked purveyors of motivation and McGuffins At least they are in the first 100 pages, but there s nothing, really nothing, to convince me it gets better further in More to the point, why should I have to persevere for better It should be good from the start, bad enough to be funny, or at least just tolerably average I don t know what this is, but there s a copy rattling around the Jubilee line for free if you want it This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I m going to break my unofficial golden rule of not reviewing a book before I ve read it all the way through as I m pretty confident that I ve got the measure of this read.This is the second interpretation of the legend of Hereward of Bourne aka Hereward The Wake that I ve come into contact with and to say it differs from the first, namely James Wilde s version, is putting it mildly.Where Wilde s story was a farvisceral, gritty and evocative a story, Binns take is a far tamer, almost s I m going to break my unofficial golden rule of not reviewing a book before I ve read it all the way through as I m pretty confident that I ve got the measure of this read.This is the second interpretation of the legend of Hereward of Bourne aka Hereward The Wake that I ve come into contact with and to say it differs from the first, namely James Wilde s version, is putting it mildly.Where Wilde s story was a farvisceral, gritty and evocative a story, Binns take is a far tamer, almost safer interpretation.If they were movies, Wilde s would probably be a Quentin Tarantino movie hard, brutal dynamic where this interpretation would be farin the style of a 1950s MGM style epic think The Robe.The tales also vary rather widely too For example, in the Wilde interpretation Hereward only leaves England briefly when he is exiled and makes a name for himself as a mercenary in Northern Europe The Hereward of Binns novel travels the rim of the known world at the time taking in Dublin, Norway, Kievan Rus, Constantinople, southern Italy and up to Normandy, even offering his services as a knight to William the Bastard himself, putting him almost at polar opposite to his character in the other book.To put the comparisons aside, the writing style is quite reminiscent of Tim Severin s in his Viking trilogy in that it feelslike it s been written by a historian than by a novellist To give Binns some credit though the writing style in this book is a lot warmer and in keeping with the tale rather than feeling like an endless parroting of well worn sagas The only slight gripe is that with the character travelling as wide as he does there s barely any depth to his experiences in most of the places he visits beyond a sentance or two at most I suppose this is designed to not distract from the greater arc but it just winds up leaving you feel like you re fast forwarding through a story.In fact this narrative would have arguably have been a better result had it been allowed to progress over a couple of installments say a trilogy rather than crammed all into one 500page book.In summary, a good read if you happen to stumble across the book in your library or get given it but not really one which is worth hunting down While I was reading this I was constantly telling myself to hold on that little bit further, just keep on going, it will pick up but it didn t The whole book felt very naive, at least that s how I would describe it Naive and simple I wanted to like this a lot simply because it was about a real life man Hereward who I had never heard of before and I wanted to know about him and his life I mean, it was as if I had discovered another British hero to stand up with William Wallace, Llewell While I was reading this I was constantly telling myself to hold on that little bit further, just keep on going, it will pick up but it didn t The whole book felt very naive, at least that s how I would describe it Naive and simple I wanted to like this a lot simply because it was about a real life man Hereward who I had never heard of before and I wanted to know about him and his life I mean, it was as if I had discovered another British hero to stand up with William Wallace, Llewellyn ap Gruffydd, Alfred the Great, a possible King Arthur, a possible Robin Hood you know, a real life hero However, it was done poorly The conversation was stilted and ludicrous, the observations pathetic and the chapters could have been separate stories Then his writing style didn t let you become attached to the characters, feel their fear, love, desperation anything It was if someone was giving the bare boned facts of his life in a slightly storytelling way It was obvious that this man author was a university lecturer first and a writer second, it was not good writing Then there was the infallibility of Hereward Mary Sue syndrome I think everyone calls it nothing he did was wrong Kings, Queens, heroes of legend all went out of their way to love him and adore him He was unmatchable in combat He got the hottest woman available For crying out loud he turns up at armies and declares that he is to be called a knight and that he will train armies, and they let him Just because he wins a duel and because he says so It was pathetic No King General would let a man demand something of him like that and give it to him, not without him working his way up the King s favour anyway No, it was all too fake Yet, I want to finish this book someday Although I think that it is so that I can learn about Hereward, but I feel that I might besatisfied If I read a non fiction book about him at least then I will be getting what I wanted I know some people out there will enjoy the heroics of Hereward, and go ahead and enjoy them But if you like a little bit of realism in your historical fiction, look elsewhere.Have Fun Reading Sadly this book has a lot of good plots and interesting characters Harold Godwinson, Harald Hardarada, William Duke of Normandy, El Sid andand covers many years worth of history from different countries that the author Stewart Binns really should have slowed the pace down, focused on a few key moments and maybe made this one book into a trilogy at least.The side effect of cramming so much into one set of book covers made everything seem rather rushed, all the events tended to be almost g Sadly this book has a lot of good plots and interesting characters Harold Godwinson, Harald Hardarada, William Duke of Normandy, El Sid andand covers many years worth of history from different countries that the author Stewart Binns really should have slowed the pace down, focused on a few key moments and maybe made this one book into a trilogy at least.The side effect of cramming so much into one set of book covers made everything seem rather rushed, all the events tended to be almost glimpsted by the reader, the narrator never giving them a chance to settle to experience what the characters were experiencing in such turbulent years This too also made some events either seem a bit out of place or maybe too set up in order to drag the reader along to the next big event of the characters life and so the reader can never really connect to the full dramaticness of each event occuring, just a mere acceptance is required A lot of this is signalled by the narrator accounting a lot of stuff in brief details we never get to encounter many of the great battles this portrayal of Hereward experienced in southern Spain or Normandy, let alone hispeaceful time spent living in Dublin with his new friends and lover Torfida etc, even the great battles of 1066 were over within a chapter or two Unfortunately I have recently finished another book focusing on the mysterious character of Hereward the Wake and it does exactly what Stewart Binns should have done, focued on a few select years, a few key events, not travelled so much across the globe and spent enough time showing the reader the depth of the characters lives and the world they lived in I prefered Jame s Wilde s version to this one Set during an interesting period of English history, this book tells the tale of a character called Hereward of Bourne My main issue with the book is the shallow and featureless characters, in fact probably some of the worst characters I ve come across Despite the book covering a large time span, I never really feel like I got to know the characters, and found myself indifferent to their fate This isn t helped by the authors insistence to cover large periods of time in a matter of periods, so Set during an interesting period of English history, this book tells the tale of a character called Hereward of Bourne My main issue with the book is the shallow and featureless characters, in fact probably some of the worst characters I ve come across Despite the book covering a large time span, I never really feel like I got to know the characters, and found myself indifferent to their fate This isn t helped by the authors insistence to cover large periods of time in a matter of periods, so you get the impression you ve missed large aspects of their lives The redeeming feature of this book, and the aspect that prevents me scoring it lower, is the fantastic description and detail given during battles and conflict Whilst the characters are some of the worst I ve come across, the battle scenes and the authors ability to bring them to life are some of the best If Binns can sort out his character writing, he could easily become one of the best historical fiction writers The knowledge and the potential is definitely there

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